The National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) comprises 48 national organisations committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the 7 million people in rural and remote Australia. Our diverse membership includes representation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, health professional organisations, health service providers, health educators and students.
The Alliance provides a united voice for people and health professionals living and working in rural communities and advocates for sustainable and affordable health services. Our most important role, underpinned by our broad representative base, is listening to the people of rural, regional and remote Australia and taking their views to government.
Working closely with the Alliance Council, our policy team identifies existing and emerging issues affecting rural health and develops and advocates targeted, evidence-based policy outcomes. We are a credible source of expertise and evidence-based information, and we work closely with politicians, governments, departments and a broad range of stakeholders to build healthy and adaptable rural communities.
The National Rural Health Conference and the Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium are the Alliance’s flagship events. These biennial events bring together organisations and individuals committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people in rural areas. The conference spans four days and attracts around 1,200 delegates. These events are important opportunities for people to network, raise issues and ideas, and to guide the Alliance in prioritising its policy work.
The Alliance oversees the global publication of the peer-reviewed Australian Journal of Rural Health (AJRH) through Wiley. The AJRH is an important publication for researchers and practitioners, and for policymakers in their design and implementation of policies and programs.
We also manage the Rural Australia Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS) Scheme, a program which supports students from a rural background to study medicine. Since its inception, 2,200 scholarships have been awarded. We have run the Scheme since its introduction in 2000, which has given the Alliance unique insights into the rural health workforce 'pipeline', and we are well-placed to advise government on the formulation of health workforce initiatives.
For those looking for closer engagement with us, there is Friends of the Alliance, a network of people and organisations that come together to support our work and provide additional grassroots connections.